Steven J. Stearman, 27, a Washington native and a 1971 graduate of Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, died June 15 at the Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs, Colo. He had a brain tumor.

Mr. Stearman first went to Colorado Springs to study music at Colorado College. He later spent a year studying at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College in Ohio and then returned to Colorado College, where he graduatued in 1976 and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

His musical activities included playing the string bass in the Colorado Springs Symphony Orchestra and at the Colorado Springs Opera Festival. He also was a baritone in the Taylor Memorial Choir there.

Since leaving college, Mr. Stearman had been a counselor for disturbed children at the Youth Treatment Center and at the Myron Stratton Home in Colorado Srings. He was a member of the advisory board of the Stratton Home.

Survivors include his parents, David L. and Bernice Stearman, of Bethesda, two brothers, Robert, of Bethesda, two brothers, Robert, of Baltimore, and Gary, of Washington, and a sister, Lynne, of Bethesda.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to Cansurmount, P.O. Box 7405, Colorado Springs, Colo. 80933.